If parents show children that they are trusted from an early age, most do measure up to these expectations. It's a wonderful experience to see the proud expression on the face of a young person who has just been entrusted with carrying out an important task. Teachers see this all the time. The eager hands shoot up. The faces are beaming out the message, 'Choose me! Choose me, please!
How much more precious is the trust of a parent than that of even the most respected teacher.
It's disappointing to see adults expecting the worst from young people. It must be very frustrating, even infuriating for young people in this situation. Some simply give up and live down to the expectations of the adults around them. We would all find it hard to always be presumed guilty!
Of course young people are going to disappoint at some stage, just as parents will invariably disappoint their teenagers at some point too. We all like a second chance. Extending the same to your adolescent may just pay off in ways you never imagined. Being able to say, 'Let's forget what's happened; we all make mistakes', allows the relationship with your teenager to continue as it was, or sometimes to become even closer because your teenager will appreciate your showing that you can move beyond what has happened. Young people often say that that once they make a mistake, Mum and Dad never let them forget it: 'What's the point in trying if you are never given the opportunity to prove you can be trusted again?'
Ensure that you are always open with your adolescent and prepared to forgive mistakes and to move on. Good parenting is focused on the present. Don't be the world's worst archaeologist... Adolescents hate it when their parents dig up the past!
art of dealing with adolescents might be defined as knowing what not to say.' A.
'The rules for parents are but three...love, limit, and let them be.' Elaine M. Ward
Reference: Carr-Gregg, M and Shale, E (2002) Adolescence, a guide for parents
Head of Campus, Middle & Senior Years